With ever-new technologies emerging also the amount of information to be stored and processed is growing exponentially and is believed to be always at the limit. In contrast, however, huge resources are available in the IT sector alike e.g. the renewable energy sector, which are often even not at all used. This underusage bares any rational especially in the IT sector where e.g. virtualisation and grid approaches could be fast implemented due to the great technical and fast turnover opportunities. Here, we describe this obvious paradox for the first time as the Inverse Tragedy of the Commons, in contrast to the Classical Tragedy of the Commons where resources are overexploited. From this perspective the grid IT sector attempting to share resources for better efficiency, reveals two challenges leading to the heart of the paradox: i) From a macro perspective all grid infrastructures involve not only mere technical solutions but also dominantly all of the autopoietic social sub-systems ranging from religion to policy. ii) On the micro level the individual players and their psychology and risk behaviour are of major importance for acting within the macro autopoietic framework. Thus, the challenges of grid implementation are similar to those of e.g. climate protection. This is well described by the classic Human Ecology triangle and our extension to a rectangle: invironment-individual-society-environment. Extension of this classical interdisciplinary field of basic and applied research to an e-Human Grid Ecology rational, allows the Inverse Tragedy of the Commons of the grid sector to be understood and approached better and implies obvious guidelines in the day-today management for grid and other (networked) resources, which is of importance for many fields with similar paradoxes as in (e-)society.

, , , , ,
IOS Press
7th Annual HealthGrid Conference: Healthgrid Research, Innovation and Business Case, HealthGrid 2009
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Knoch, T., Baumgärtner, V., de Zeeuw, L., Grosveld, F., & Egger, K. (2009). e-Human Grid Ecology: Understanding and approaching the Inverse Tragedy of the Commons in the e-Grid Society. Presented at the 7th Annual HealthGrid Conference: Healthgrid Research, Innovation and Business Case, HealthGrid 2009. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/17563